: 29 May 2013

Doing This Will Greatly Increase the Quality of Your Relationship

Spending quality time with your partner can save your relationship. This may sound obvious but it’s true. It’s important to say because the truth is, it’s shocking to how seldom we spend quality time with the people we love.
You know how fast we go. We’re multi-taskers and proud! We have stimuli coming at us from all directions.

With all this excessive noise, it’s nearly impossible for us to be present with one another. As you can imagine, this does not bode well for our relationships.

Sure, we may spend time texting our partners during the day, or zoning-out with them on the couch at night, but are we making time to really be with them? This is an important question to ask yourself if you want to have a fulfilling relationship. Quality love cannot happen without quality time.

In this article I’m going to talk about why we aren’t being present with our partners, how this affects our relationships, and how to turn this destructive pattern around.

The reason we don’t spend quality time with our loved ones is because, quite frankly, we don’t spend quality time doing much of anything. We’re accustomed to being semi-connected to our lives in general. It’s sad (and terrifying), but true.

We’re kind-of present at work, but we are also doing 40 things at once. We’re kind-of present with our friends, but we’re also texting and updating our statuses compulsively. We’re kind-of present with ourselves, but our minds are going full-speed. It’s rare that we’re genuinely present in our lives at all, and so it is also true with our loves.

Life like this isn’t enjoyable! In fact, it’s completely draining! Still, we do it more than we’d like to admit. Why? Because our egos have run rampant.

The ego is the part of your mind that is overly focused on the past, future, and outside things. It cannot sit still; it’s always looking for what’s next. Constantly on the move. Never settled. Never in peace.

When we live in our egos, we aren’t connected…period! This takes a major toll on our well-being and on our close relationships.

There’s nothing more lonely than feeling unseen while surrounded by people. Disconnection is no way to live! And we don’t have to! It’s time for us to stop catering to our egos and to start living quality lives. You can make it happen! Here’s how:

1) Whenever you feel drained or disconnected, take time away and connect to yourself! 

Ooooh, this is a big one. It’s actually the answer to life (I’m being serious). When we’re not connected to ourselves, we cannot feel connected to anything else.

If we spend a lot of not-so-quality time with our partners, we’re left feeling unsatisfied. We inevitably try to sooth this dissatisfaction either by checking-out further (with alcohol, drugs, or other substances) or grasping at our partners with the hope that they’ll make us feel better.

But neither of these tactics work! They just leave us in a state of insatiable disconnection. If we don’t connect to ourselves first, our interactions with others are going to feel empty.

Luckily, we all have an inner resource that can bring us back to a state of connection and grace. Call it soul, call it peace, call it truth, call it love. Call it whatever you want, but it’s there and it’s important for you to get to know. When you do, your life and your relationships will become brimming with quality.

Meditate, read inspiring books, make gratitude lists, go out in nature, journal, set intentions, follow your breath. Do anything that feels enjoyable and brings you into the present moment. You’ll be amazed at how much this recharges your battery and improves your connection with the people you love.

2) Intentionally be present with your partner whenever possible.

I know, this sounds like a lot of work. But you know what’s more work? Being disconnected from your partner most of the time.

We’re overly drained by living such disconnected lives, so we’re resistant to taking the time to be present with our loved ones. We’d rather zone-out on the couch. But the couch doesn’t resource you; love does. Take time to be close with your people and you’ll feel more juiced and alive than any amount of reality TV could provide.

Go on a walk together. Watch the sunset. Cook a meal. Other things (wink, wink).

Ask him questions and listen to the answers. Have a conversation. Or be silent. Whatever you do, just be present. Your sense of connection (and love) will surge as a result.

3) Make an effort to be present in your life everyday. 

Calling upon the timeless wisdom of the guru Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”

Step away from the busyness of life and pay attention to what’s going on in this moment.

Put your phone on silent. Close your laptop. Go outside and look around. What do you see? Smell? Hear? Feel?

What is happening right now? I think you might be surprised at how beautiful the world is if you allow yourself to just take it in.

When we cease being semi-connected to everything and selectively connect to the things that matter, our quality of life increases dramatically. Like meditation, a little QT goes a along way so make it a priority–it’s worth it!

The next time you find yourself going a mile a minute, step back to reconnect. Take a deep breath, recharge your battery, find your source. Your heart, life and love will thank you it.

Please leave a comment below about how you plan on being present with yourself and your love today!! I look forward to hearing from you!


  1. Kristi on May 30, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    LOVE this Shelly. Thank you for the reminder. Gratitude lists in particular haven’t been part of my life lately, and I know there’s such a strong connection between them and happiness in the present moment.

  2. Sarah on May 30, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Wow! Thank you so much! I absolutely love this! What a fabulous reminder to get quiet with ourselves & center! Look to The One true source rather than our partners or other outside stimuli to achieve the wholeness we desire! Then reconnect & spend true quality time with our partner & love ones!

    • Shelly Bullard on May 30, 2013 at 7:15 pm

      YES Sarah!! XO

  3. Tim on May 31, 2013 at 2:44 am

    Beautifully written Shelly….
    I particularly liked your words “If we spend a lot of not-so-quality time with our partners, we’re left feeling unsatisfied. We inevitably try to sooth this dissatisfaction either by checking-out further with …. or grasping at our partners with the hope that they’ll make us feel better”…so true!

    I think fatigue is a culprit and getting quality rest is a precursor to quality interactions. Thanks.

    • Shelly Bullard on May 31, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      YES Tim! Thanks for your comment!

  4. Katya on May 31, 2013 at 3:16 am

    This is just what I needed to hear today! Thank you queen of hearts 🙂 ! I have just been experiencing this first hand and reading this has just helped the puzzle to fit together in a lovely big AHA! As they say, you’ve got to fill your own cup so you can fill another’s.

    • Shelly Bullard on May 31, 2013 at 5:54 pm


  5. susy on May 31, 2013 at 6:20 am

    My boyfriend and I love going to the beach or a park and we will literally sit there for hours and just talk. I truly believe that the time we spend together like that had helped form a beautiful, strong relationship!

    • Shelly Bullard on May 31, 2013 at 5:53 pm

      Lovely Susy!

  6. Kara on May 31, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Shelly, beautifully put. It’s so simple but so easy to forget, how important it is to be connected with ourselves and the people we love. I heart my time for my gratitude diary, it is such a major part of my life now. Thank-you for your inspiring blogs 🙂

    • Shelly Bullard on May 31, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      You’re welcome, Kara. Thank you!!

  7. Carolyn Flynn on June 2, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Quality time with ourselves and others builds deep and loving relationships. I have found deep breathing to be a good way to get present and stay focused.

    • Shelly Bullard on June 2, 2013 at 6:14 pm

      Yes Carolyn!

  8. Emmy Hendry on June 10, 2013 at 12:51 am

    Thanks for reminder that is true.

  9. Kelly white on June 12, 2013 at 3:00 am

    My friend sent me your link today on Love Lessons. It was a wonderful ebook. The irony today is it is my 1 year anniversary of divorce after 27 years together. They are things I tried to educate, instill, communicate to him that he could not understand. I am a free love woman, I love all around me with no strings, cuz strings are not from thy true self. God bless you for putting in words what I could not.

  10. Stacy on June 17, 2013 at 2:15 am

    Shelly, I enjoy reading your blog and find it to be very helpful in my relationship. This one really makes me think and stop for quality time with my guy.
    Thanks for the continued encouragement!

  11. Sarah on September 19, 2013 at 5:00 am

    An easy to read version of some excellent spiritual theories. Great work, love it.

Before you dive any deeper...

Hi, I’m Shelly!

I’m a relationship coach, licensed marriage & family therapist, wife, girl mom, world traveler and… a damn good manifesting teacher.

On any random Saturday, you could find me hiking in the Redwoods with my family during the day AND relaxing to all songs on 🎶the foggy jazz🎶 station on Spotify in the evening with my man…

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